Opening April 11 – 17, 2022 – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists highlights movies made by and about women. With a vigilant eye toward current releases, we maintain an interactive record of films that are pertinent to our interests. Be they female-made or female-centric productions, they are films that represent a wide range of women’s stories and present complex female characters. As such, they are movies that will most likely be reviewed on AWFJ.org and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera. Our members are feature writers, columnists and regular contributors to a variety of media outlets and many of us publish regularly on the festival circuit. Our critical voices are widespread and diverse. We invite you to join us in tracking weekly releases of particular interest. And we welcome information about new films that will help us to keep our records updated and our critics alert. Below is a concise list of new releases set for the week of April 12 – 19 that are of particular interest. Film titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews.

Tuesday, April 12 

  • American Reject – 1091 Pictures (VOD) – USA – Comedy directed by Marlo Hunter, written by Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone. A singing hopeful on America’s hottest singing competition is catapulted into the depressing afterlife of reality television fame. Starring Annaleigh Ashford.
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  • Never Better – Freestyle Digital Media (VOD) – USA – Dramedy written and directed by Julianne Fox. Terese is a young woman with Cystic Fibrosis stuck in the time loop of quarantine. When her self-interested roommate returns and fails to practice safe social distancing, she finds that boredom may be the least of her worries..
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  • Women of the White Buffalo – (VOD) – USA – Documentary written and directed by Deborah Anderson. The Lakota women living on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota are rising up against the forces that continue to suppress them. By preserving and protecting their ancestral values and wisdom, they provide hope to their people.

Wednesday, April 13 

  • Father Stu – Sony (Cinemas) – USA – Drama written and directed by Rosalind Ross, starring Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson. Following the life of Father Stuart Long, a boxer-turned-priest who inspired countless people during his journey from self-destruction to redemption.

Friday, April 15 

  • Dual – RLJE Films (Cinemas; Streaming release April 20) – USA / Finland – Sci-fi / thriller written and directed by Riley Stearns, starring Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul. A woman opts for a cloning procedure after she receives a terminal diagnosis but when she recovers, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail, leading to a court-mandated duel to the death.
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  • The Girl and the Spider – The Cinema Guild (Cinemas; NY) – Switzerland – Drama co-written and directed by Ramon and Silvan Zürcher. Lisa is moving out. Mara is left behind. As boxes are shifted and cupboards built, abysses begin to open up and an emotional roller coaster is set in motion.
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  • Good Life – Level 33 Entertainment (Cinemas, VOD) – South Africa – Drama written and directed by Bonnie Rodini. Olive Pappadopoulous, 35, an Oral Hygienist, flees Cape Town for Greece to try outwit a broken heart, but is faced with the local villagers’ hostility and is befriended by a 7-year-old refugee who teaches her how to live “The Good Life.”
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  • Paris, 13th District – IFC Films (Cinemas, VOD) – France – Drama written and directed by Jacques Audiard, co-written by Nicolas Livecchi, Léa Mysius and Céline Sciamma. Émilie meets Camille who is attracted to Nora, who crosses paths with Amber. Three girls and a boy – They’re friends, sometimes lovers and often both.
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  • We’re All Going to the World’s Fair – Utopia / HBO Max (Cinemas; VOD release April 22) – USA – Horror / drama written and directed by Jane Schoenbrun. Alone in her attic bedroom, teenager Casey becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game, wherein she begins to document the changes that may or may not be happening to her.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.

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Margaret Barton-Fumo

Based in New York, Margaret Barton-Fumo has contributed to Film Comment since 2006. Her monthly online column, “Deep Cuts,” focused on the intersection of film and music. She has interviewed such directors, actors, and musicians as Brian De Palma, James Gray, Harry Dean Stanton, and Paul Williams, and has additionally contributed to Senses of Cinema and Stop Smiling. She is the editor of Paul Verhoeven: Interviews, published by the University Press of Mississippi.